was born and reared in the north inner city of Dublin. She studied at Trinity College, Dublin and at Eastern Washington University in the United States. She has published six original collections of poetry, the most recent,
Painting Rain, in 2009. She has written plays for both adults and children, including
The Wolf of Winter. Music for Dogs:works for radio, collects three plays concerned with suicide during the economic boom years in Ireland.
Selections of her poetry have been published in French, Spanish, German, Galician, Japanese, Estonian, Greek, and smaller selections have been published in other languages, including Irish. She has received the Butler Literary Award for Poetry presented by the Irish American Cultural Institute, the Marten Toonder Award for Literature, the Denis Devlin Award for her poetry collection
published in 2000, and the PPI Award for Radio Drama for
Dedalus Press have recently republished
Mysteries of the Home,
a selection of seminal poems from the 1980s and the 1990s.
She was honoured with election to Aosdána, the Irish Academy for the Arts, in 1996. She is currently Ireland Professor of Poetry, 2013 to 2016.